|Take me to your leader!|
|Type||High-Altitude Recon Aircraft|
|Manufacturer||Lockheed Martin Corp. USA|
|Status||Retired - 1998|
|Cost||Unknown - A lot!|
A Spam high altitude reconnaissance aircraft built by the Lockheed Skunk Works as a Black project - US tax dollars well spent. Probably responsible for a lot of UFO sightings in the early sixties in and around Groom Lake, Nevada. Be honest, it does look like something out of Star Wars!
- Length - 32.74 m
- Wingspan - 16.94 m
- Height - 5.64 m
- Armament - None
- Other Information
- Crew - 2
- Initial Year of Service - 1966
- Production total - 30
- Maximum Speed - 2,275mph
- Maximum Range - 2,900 nautical miles
- Service Ceiling - 85,000ft
Derived from the YF-12 prototype interceptor.
Out of 32 planes made, 17 were lost in accidents, although none were lost to enemy action. Although retired from active duty, NASA has operated two SR-71s as research aircraft.
The SR-71 also holds the record for flying from New York to London in 1 hour 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds, set on 1 September 1974. (The best Concorde flight time was 2 hours 52 minutes, and the Boeing 747 averages 6 hours 15 minutes.)
It has been suggested that the unique shape of the Blackbird is stealthy in a radar avoiding sort of a way. Given that at mach 3.2 the infra-red signature is not dissimilar to the fire bombing of Dresden, you can take this with a pinch of salt. Its certainly on record that missiles were shot at the '71 in anger (or at least in a slightly peeved way) but when all you need to do to avoid the missile is open the throttles ... being stealthy is a bit of a waste of time.
As a matter of fact the SR-71 did NOT fly out of RAF Akrotiri at Zero Five Hundred hours and did NOT return much later in the day because the spams say it didn't.
Note: One of the totally awesome Top Trump aircraft that allows you total pwnage of your opponent ... totally!